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Haulier fined £100,000 after falling waste bale kills worker

  • 18 February 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Redditch-based haulier RS Recycling has been fined £100,000 after a worker was killed by a falling bale of waste weighing more than a tonne.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Worcester Crown Court was told that Kenneth Swaby, 43, from Canvey Island, Essex, was walking past a five-metre stack of bales at the firm’s Beoley site in February 2011.

Three of the bales toppled over and one landed directly on top of him, killing him instantly.

An HSE investigation found RS Recycling failed to properly control the risks to employees working at the site, particularly with regard to the proper storage and safe stacking of waste materials.

Stacks of unstable material, such as baled paper and plastic, should slope backwards towards the top, and the bales should be interlocked to stop them falling.

The stability of the stack should be checked regularly, and where bales can fall, workers on the ground kept well clear.

The HSE found that the stacks were uneven, too high, and there were no measures in place to stop employees approaching them on foot.

RS Recycling was also ordered to pay costs of £57,927 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.


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